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Monday, 3 November 2014

UnCracked Monday: The CBC Sex-Scandal For Non-Canadians

If you have Canadian friends on G+ or Facebook, you probably have seen posts you'd no doubt find cryptic about someone or something named Jian.  If your friends are outspoken 'progressives', you'll probably have seen much wailing, moans of disbelief, bitter condemnations, or even conspiracy theories.  You might be wondering what the fuck is up in the Great White North.

So here, in a special video edition of uncracked monday, you'll a breakdown that explains what was going on; which is basically that Jian Ghomeshi was sexually assaulting women, and the CBC (the public TV station in Canada, and Ghomeshi's employer) was apparently helping him cover it up for ages.

Why does this particular case matter so much?  Well, because Jian Ghomeshi was the biggest star of CBC Radio (think NPR for Canada), with a show called "Q" which was like every liberal hipster's dream: music and interviews with a mix of progressively-fashionable celebrities and leftist Canadian icons (like feminist author Margaret Atwood, author of the Handmaiden's Tale, a cultural icon and "national treasure" of the Canadian left).
The CBC itself is the wannabe-BBC of Canada, and has had a serious left-wing slant for decades now.

So if some of your progressive Canadian friends have spent the past week having weird conniptions, it's because the TV/Radio station they think of as part of their utopia has been caught trying to protect their biggest liberal radio star while he beat and sexually assaulted women.   And the poor progressives have spent the last week trying to figure out how they're supposed to react to that. Even feminist icon Margaret Atwood (writer of the Handmaiden's Tale, a novel about evil christian misogynists treating women like sex objects in a dystopian future) posted some very supportive tweets when the story broke, and kept defending him until very suddenly turning around (having seen which way the wind was blowing) only two days ago. And green party leader (and feminist hero) Elizabeth May had called him "wonderful".

Because of course, the perception in all this is based on the liberal mindset that if someone subscribes to the right ideology, if they are on the "right side" (which is the left, of course), then they can't possibly be the bad guys.  Ghomeshi pushed all the right buttons and did all the right things because he showed all the hallmarks of a progressive icon; and because progressives believe that people who disagree with them must all be monsters, then those who agree with them must be heroes.

Oh, one more amusing note about that youtube link back at the start: That's Sun News, which is kind of the closest Canada has to Fox News. Its a private, commercial, 24 hour news network.  The CBC icons all desperately tried to stop the network from being licensed, claiming that it was an evil "american-style" (those words often mean 'evil', in Canada) 'corporate news', that was 'dangerous' to Canadian minds, and would endanger the traditions of the CBC (which was of course, "healthy" for Canadians).
And the guy doing the presenting? That's Ezra Levant, a right-wing thinker that some people would probably consider Canada's answer to Rush Limbaugh, only he's much more intelligent than Rush.  I say this from personal experience since he and I were at University together... there must have been something in the water back then at my old alma mater, as that generation of students there ended up producing a lot of very argumentative ideologists (besides Ezra and me, there were also more liberal cases, like David Malmo-Levine, who was one of the leading figures in the pot-legalization movement in Canada; there were also the guys who invented the comics "Bob the Angry Flower" and "Space Moose", both of which I strongly recommend).

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8 comments:

  1. David Malmo-Levine also appears in Space Moose:

    http://www.hackcanada.com/canadian/zines/spacemoose/debate.gif

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  2. Speaking as a liberal canadian, i never liked jian. He was always what i call smarmy. Him and george strombolopoulis.

    None of this came as any great surprise to me. Perverts are not exclusive to the right wing, although they seem perhaps more common there.

    I do think that your glee reflects poorly on you.

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    1. It isn't so much glee as it is frustration; when it's some institution like a church, or a conservative politician, who gets caught in this sort of scandal, liberal media like the CBC and its commentators are absolutely unwavering in their bloodthirst for justice. But here, we saw first the effort to protect Ghomeshi; and now we are seeing him being politically sacrificed in order to try to save the CBC, to make it seem like no one in the upper echelons of the CBC knew this was going on, and all kind of excuses being made. Excuses that, if it was the catholic church or the Conservative Party would never, ever be considered acceptable to the liberal glitterati.

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    2. Except that it cuts both ways - conservative Catholics resisted acknowledging priests molesting children for decades. Feminists cut Bill Clinton a lot of slack in the 1990s - I was against impeaching Clinton but the feminists would have swarmed against any conservative who behaved as he did. Hell, I'm old enough to remember when OJ Simpson and Hugh Grant had nice guy images. It's basic human behavior - we don't want to admit our own side is in the wrong. If we see the accused as a good guy, we always look for excuses.

      I'd also note Salon.com which is pretty hard core/bordering on loony progressive was very quick to strike against Ghomeshi. In general, the US liberal/feminist crowd was pretty quick to take the accusations seriously. That might be because Americans didn't see Ghomeshi as one of their own, but that just goes back to my basic point.

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  3. As a person that had voted Obama twice and once been a follower of progressive politics I have to say this.

    This is EXACTLY why I am no longer supporting the left. I can't stand how hypocritical they are. They bitch about the tea party, but never bother to fix the crazies in their own group. When it benefits them they will hide the worst members that should go to prison. When it benefits them they would put their best members under the bus.

    When 2016 happens I am voting republican.

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  4. This isn't really a liberal or progressive vs conservative issue. It's a human issue. All people are just hardwired to believe members of their own group (whatever it is) are good people. It is difficult for them to believe otherwise no matter the evidence. When accusations fly about one of their own, most people will defend that person, until the evidence really does become overwhelming and often not even then. I see this human behavior in both conservatives and progressives. It's just human to protect a member of your 'tribe'.

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    Replies
    1. Yep. And Schadenfreude is universal too.

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